Rawlings School of Divinity


Master of Arts in Christian Apologetics (MA)


Robert Talley


apologetics, allegory, fiction, fantasy, literature, critical engagement, critical thinking, critical reading, The Pilgrim's Progress, The Prince Warriors, novels, books, imagination


Creative Writing | Religion


Christian allegorical literature is a genre that explores apologetic claims in a unique and creative way. Although this genre has attracted many readers over the years, there is hesitation and reluctancy to accept Christian allegorical literature as a genre that should be used as an apologetic method. Namely, the didactic intent of this genre has caused some critics to question whether Christian allegorical literature promotes critical reading and thinking skills in a way that leads readers to make their own spiritual decisions. Some skeptics believe that sharing theistic truths that are disguised by fictional storylines is a creative way to forcibly push Christian theism on readers, instead of allowing them to engage critically with the narratives. This thesis argues that critical engagement skills are necessary to fully understand Christian allegorical literature. Furthermore, the critical reader’s free will must be taken into consideration when analyzing books of this genre. Even if an author presents accurate theological claims, the critical reader has the ability to decide whether he will be moved to action by the apologetic truths he uncovers in the narrative. The research of this thesis concludes that critical reading and thinking skills can readily be applied to Christian allegorical literature. Readers who engage critically with Christian allegorical texts have the tools they need to determine what parts of the text they believe should impact their spiritual lives. Although Christian authors might act as a spiritual catalyst, it is the reader who decides whether he will pursue or reject Christianity. For this reason, Christian allegorical literature continues to be used as a resource that encourages critical thinking about spirituality.